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Fight Club [Paperback]

Chuck Palahniuk
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (501 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Sept. 27 2005

Chuck Palahniuk's outrageous and startling debut novel that exploded American literature and spawned a movement.

THE FIRST RULE about fight club is you don't talk about fight club.

Every weekend, in the basements and parking lots of bars across the country, young men with whitecollar jobs and failed lives take off their shoes and shirts and fight each other barehanded just as long as they have to. Then they go back to those jobs with blackened eyes and loosened teeth and the sense that they can handle anything. Fight club is the invention of Tyler Durden, projectionist, waiter, and dark, anarchic genius, and it's only the beginning of his plans for violent revenge on an empty consumer-culture world.


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From Amazon

The only person who gets called Ballardesque more often than Chuck Palahniuk is, well... J.G. Ballard. So, does Portland, Oregon's "torchbearer for the nihilistic generation" deserve that kind of treatment? Yes and no. There is a resemblance between Fight Club and works such as Crash and Cocaine Nights in that both see the innocuous mundanities of everyday life as nothing more than the severely loosened cap on a seething underworld cauldron of unchecked impulse and social atrocity. Welcome to the present-day U.S. of A. As Ballard's characters get their jollies from staging automobile accidents, Palahniuk's yuppies unwind from a day at the office by organizing bloodsport rings and selling soap to fund anarchist overthrows. Let's just say that neither of these guys are going to be called in to do a Full House script rewrite any time soon.

But while the ingredients are the same, Ballard and Palahniuk bake at completely different temperatures. Unlike his British counterpart, who tends to cast his American protagonists in a chilly light, holding them close enough to dissect but far enough away to eliminate any possibility of kinship, Palahniuk isn't happy unless he's first-person front and center, completely entangled in the whole sordid mess. An intensely psychological novel that never runs the risk of becoming clinical, Fight Club is about both the dangers of loyalty and the dreaded weight of leadership, the desire to band together and the compulsion to head for the hills. In short, it's about the pride and horror of being an American, rendered in lethally swift prose. Fight Club's protagonist might occasionally become foggy about who he truly is (you'll see what I mean), but one thing is for certain: you're not likely to forget the book's author. Never mind Ballardesque. Palahniukian here we come! --Bob Michaels --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring soap made from human fat, waiters at high-class restaurants who do unmentionable things to soup and an underground organization dedicated to inflicting a violent anarchy upon the land, Palahniuk's apocalyptic first novel is clearly not for the faint of heart. The unnamed (and extremely unreliable) narrator, who makes his living investigating accidents for a car company in order to assess their liability, is combating insomnia and a general sense of anomie by attending a steady series of support-group meetings for the grievously ill, at one of which (testicular cancer) he meets a young woman named Marla. She and the narrator get into a love triangle of sorts with Tyler Durden, a mysterious and gleefully destructive young man with whom the narrator starts a fight club, a secret society that offers young professionals the chance to beat one another to a bloody pulp. Mayhem ensues, beginning with the narrator's condo exploding and culminating with a terrorist attack on the world's tallest building. Writing in an ironic deadpan and including something to offend everyone, Palahniuk is a risky writer who takes chances galore, especially with a particularly bizarre plot twist he throws in late in the book. Caustic, outrageous, bleakly funny, violent and always unsettling, Palahniuk's utterly original creation will make even the most jaded reader sit up and take notice. Movie rights to Fox 2000.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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First Sentence
TYLER GETS ME a job as a waiter, after that Tyler's pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am this reviewer's mouth, falling open. July 26 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most original books ever to come down the pike. (What exactly IS a pike, anyway?) The entire novel, written in first person, focuses around an insomniac, unhappy in his life, his job; material comfort means absolutely nothing, despite how much time he's meticulously devoted to furnishing his apartment. The narrator finds comfort in the most unlikely of places: Support groups for various diseases he doesn't even have. This lasts for years until someone else develops the same kind of addiction: The chain-smoking Marla Singer. If you're looking for book without a BIG twist, then pass this one by, for Mr. P. will give you an ending that you won't soon forget. Twist and twisted doesn't even begin to describe this one. And, unlike the fight club in the movie, you CAN talk about it. Without a doubt, one of the most unusual and unique books ever. Also recommended: BARK OF THE DOGWOOD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soap suds and more Feb. 7 2005
Format:Paperback
Fight Club was the first Chuck Palahniuk novel I read, and I have since become a die-hard fan of his works. I first saw the movie with my friend and fell in love with the story. She was the one who first recommended reading the novel, because according to her, the movie leaves out too many things, and you need to read the book to get the full impact of the story. She couldn't have been more right. I purchased the book and read non-stop for two days, then watched the movie again. It's truly captivating. The best thing, however, is not the story itself but the way in which Palahniuk presents the story. His writing style is one that is brilliant and unique. The characters he creates are intense, and you manage to find parts of yourself that relate the each of them, parts of yourself and your mind that you didn't even know existed. This book is amazing, as are all of Chuck Palahniuk's novels. Would also recommend the following books: Children's Corner by McCrae, Survivor, Plot Against America, and Bark of the Dogwood.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provocative Novel...Stunning....Great July 21 2005
Format:Paperback
Living in a nihilistic society where your life needs to be threatened to feel alive, Fight Club takes us to a place beneath the surface, where we are broken down and bottom out before we can recreate ourselves better and stronger. The relationship between the POV and his mentor/nemesis, Tyler Durden, ranges from hero-worship to pure homoerotica. Palahniuk's first novel is a social commentary that gives the proletariat the upper-hand to change the world through planned acts of random violence. One great, great book.
Also recommended: "Choke," "The Losers' Club: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby
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5.0 out of 5 stars You are not your incisive social critique Sept. 24 2004
Format:Paperback
By now the plot to Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club is well-know; unfortunately, it's also still widely misunderstood. All those reviewers who saw a celebration of violence and nihilism completely missed the point: this is a work of satire.
Palahniuk criticises (quite successfully, I thought) consumer and self-improvement culture, as well as the state and capitalism. However, the real target becomes the social movement itself, and the way in which such a movement can degenerate into facism. Fight Club begins as a movement to extoll the individual, but ends up destroying him in the name of the "greater good" (in this way, Palahniuk also takes a stab at Communism). Men who are first taught that they alone have the power to control history, are later forced to alter their physical appearace and mindlessly chant slogans such as, "you are not a beautiful and unique snowflake", and "I am the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world".
Palahniuk shows us how a young man, first disillusioned with his job and his possessions, soon loses focus and ends up being angry at everything: society, history, God Himself. The book's characterizations are accurate: history is always most profoundly altered by angry young men.
The book is written in tense first-person narrative, with Palahniuk firing off page after page of potent and memorable prose. It's unfortunate that most people, acting on their biases and the word of others, will never get to appreciate it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fight Club July 1 2004
By Afiya
Format:Paperback
As rare as it is, the movie is actually better. The movie looks exactly like you would imagine the book in your head, except the scripting is slightly different. The book is fantastic; not too drawn out. It's good if you're thinking of picking up something interesting that won't take all summer to read. It's very updated and pop-culture-ish. It makes you say "hmm. i never thought about it that way, but i guess that's true". the only reason i think the movie is better is because it was so much more streamlined and understandable, not jumpy (like the book tends to be). the book reads like it's coming from someone's head (which it's supposed to). sometimes thoughts can be jumbled, but the movie just visually lays those jumbled thoughts out for you in a sequence that's easier to digest. for those who can easily read and understand complicated books (think something like...if memento or mulholland drive were originally books) then this book will be among the best books you've ever read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You are NOT a beautiful or unique snowflake June 28 2004
Format:Paperback
Chuck Pahlaniuk's Fight Club is a story of a man going through the motions, trying to find fulfillment and a cure for his insatiable insomnia. While at first he finds it in attending support groups for diseases, this idyllic way of dealing with his problems is soon crashed by fellow "tourist" Marla. Everything changes in a chance encounter with the free-spirited Tyler Durden, and the two men bond through violence, starting an underground "Fight Club". However, a way to deal soon spirals out of control as Tyler reveals his purpose is truly for anarchist destruction.
The novel's strength is in its intense, pulse-pounding narrative, its fractured, experimental prose, and its brilliant characterization of men and society on the edge. Fight Club is about what happens in a society of boredom, and what happens when life has no rules and no brakes. But Palahniuk doesn't once get preachy; the narrative doesn't need to proselytize to get its point across. The darkness is evident in the malicious, unrestrained glee of the character of Tyler Durden. And the chilling thing is, its just like the book says. Tyler Durden, leader of a terrorist cult, is exactly who we wish we could be.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Even better then the movie.
Published 6 days ago by Robert L. Mathieson
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite book
This is my favourite story of all time. I've never heard a story anything that I relate to so much, which is hard to believe because it's an odd story.
Published 8 months ago by Shana
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic!
Saw the movie before reading the book. Even though the motion picture was great (brilliant some would say), as usual the book is so much better. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Christian Maranda
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
One of the best books I've read in along time. I read it after the movie and only made me appreciate the movie that much more. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Karn Saroya
5.0 out of 5 stars Très bien
Exactement ce dont j'avais besoin à un bien meilleur prix que ce qui se trouve en général sur le net
Published 16 months ago by Marie-Lyse Regnaud
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Purchase
This is an absolutely amazing novel. It arrived in good time, in good condition, and was offered at a very good price. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Racalatta
5.0 out of 5 stars An Uppercut
If you have ever felt that a book was written specifically for you and speaks to you on a level that is beyond comprehension you will understand how I feel about Fight Club. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Capital
4.0 out of 5 stars Satisfied Customer.
I ordered a USED copy of Palahniuk's Fight Club, it was shipped promptly, arrived in good condition. I was not disappointed. I will order from Alpha Textbooks INC. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2012 by B. Edward
4.0 out of 5 stars EVERYTHING I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AND A DESCENT INTO MADNESS
There's not much I can say about FIGHT CLUB that hasn't been said already (besides I'm not supposed to talk about it -first rule of FC and all) It's one of those books on... Read more
Published on Oct. 1 2011 by Buggy
3.0 out of 5 stars Lightweight Literature
I haven't seen the movie so all that I can comment on is the book. I was expecting a screed against consumerism and instead I got a mediocre psychological thriller. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2011 by Daffy Bibliophile
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